Newbold on Avon

On Saturday it rained and rained. It was one of those days when, because we had to get south on a timetable, we just had to "grin and bear it". We left Atherstone under cloudy skies but no rain. However, it quickly degenerated and by the time we reached Nuneaton the rain had really set it for most of the day.

I noticed that at Mancetter, just out of Atherstone, there was an interpretation panel concerning the site Boudicca's last battle. As a resident of Northants I still go with the Dan Snow theory that it is more likely to be Cuttle Mill, near Towcester.

Hartshill Wharf

Passing along the section of canal between Atherstone and Nuneaton you are greeted by a site that once must have been familiar, a telegraph pole with a plethora of cross beams and conductors. I have photographed this item before, but passing by this time I wondered if this structure was actually worthy of listing. In a few years only a small proportion of the population will remember these iconic structures which lined railways, roads and canals. Is there (or should there be) a Society for the Preservation of Telegraph Poles?
Telegraph Pole nears Hartshill

We reached Hawksbury Junction (Sutton Stop) by lunch. Maggie optimistically suggested that the rain might be easing. Unfortunately within half an hour we had a deluge. With Albert's tradition stern the stern doors can be closed, the hatch drawn back. With the engine doors also closed warm air keeps your lower half cosy but the upper half is another matter!

Impending heavy rain near Ansty

Of course rain does eventually ease and by the time we reached Stretton Stop it was only drizzling. For some time I had noticed a boat in front with a steerer wearing a bright yellow fluorescent jacket. He stood out in the gloom as it got darker. By the time we got near to Cathiron we had caught him up and he was hailing us. His engine had quit in a cloud of smoke and he wanted a tow the moorings at Newbold; the other side of the tunnel. We obliged by hitching up his 60 ft Harborough Marine boat behind Albert on "short straps". It was getting dark as we approached the tunnel and for safety we waited until no boats were coming north. The tow was fine with Albert coping well at modest speed. Amazingly we managed find a mooring just south of the tunnel where both boats could moor so we avoided having to manhandle the disabled boat. 

Towing a broken-down boat near Newbold

That night we repaired to the Barley Mow in Newbold.  We both had a good meal of steak and chips. As we left for the night I decided to visit the gentleman's "facilities". I just had to take a photo of piano! I gather it does occasionally get played. The waitress moaned that the Ladies was quite boring with no musical instruments. Do the locals use "tinkling the ivories" as a euphemism for going to the lavatory. 

Urinals and Piano!